Your smile is the first thing that most people will notice about you. One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your smile is to whiten your teeth. There are many different methods for teeth whitening and many different products available. In our practice, we offer a range of options for whitening, including custom tray whitening.
Custom tray whitening is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to brighten your smile. Once your dentist has fabricated thin, comfortable trays that fit your teeth, you can begin using a whitening gel. Opalescence® is a line of whitening products that has been proven effective in safely whitening teeth, as well as aiding in the prevention of cavities and improving the overall health of your enamel.
Opalescence® comes in a small syringe, which allows you to customize the amount of gel dispensed and placement of gel on the teeth so that you can avoid areas of sensitivity. You can also save gel by not placing it on dental crowns, bridges or veneers, which will not whiten. Discuss any issues of sensitivity with Dr. McConnell and Dr. Nguyen. They can tell you the appropriate length of time to wear the whitening gel and how to apply it to reduce your risk of teeth sensitivity.
Opalescence® PF Whitening Gel in Custom Trays
Teeth whitening using custom trays and a bleaching gel is the “gold standard” in teeth whitening. It is the most customizable and controlled option available in teeth whitening. We offer 35% Opalescence® PF Whitening Gel in our practice, which is the strongest concentration available. This allow you to get the fastest whitening result and spend the least amount of time whitening your teeth.
Pros of Opalescence Whitening Gel:
- Once made, the custom trays will last for years. The only reason you would need new ones is a major change in the shape of your teeth (for example, significant dental work or orthodontics). This allows you to purchase refill kits of whitening gel for continued whitening at a much lower cost than the initial investment.
- You choose which teeth to whiten and when. Easily customized to get the best result with the least amount of gel.
- Very inexpensive after the initial investment for the custom trays.
- Whitening can be done any time for maintenance of a bright, white smile.
- Carbamide peroxide is the main ingredient, which increases its shelf life.
- Contains potassium nitrate (desensitizes the teeth) and fluoride (strengthens enamel).
Cons of Opalescence Whitening Gel:
- Impressions of your mouth are necessary to fabricate a mold of your teeth, on which the custom tray is made.
- About 1 week lab time before you can begin whitening.
- Results are not immediate; typically, whiter teeth are noticed after 3-4 days of whitening.
- Properly loading the gel into the trays requires some manual dexterity.
- Will whitening cause my teeth to be sensitive? Maybe. Tooth sensitivity is a relatively common side effect of bleaching. If sensitivity occurs, it will disappear after the completion of bleaching. Unlike over-the-counter products, most professional bleaching products contain desensitizing agents for additional comfort.
- Will whitening weaken my teeth? No. Findings presented at the American Association of Dental Research confirm that whitening with Opalescence® will provide anti-cavity benefits, increase enamel microhardness, and improve overall enamel health. So the answer is no!
- How does whitening work? The main ingredient in whitening gel, carbamide peroxide, passes freely through the enamel and dentin, where it breaks down into oxygen radicals, which migrate between the enamel prisms, breaking down any colored molecules that result in tooth discoloration. The structure of the tooth is not altered or damaged in any way; the internal tooth color is simply made lighter.
- How long does whitening last? It is different for every person. There are several factors that impact how long your whitening effect will last. Staining habits such as drinking coffee or using tobacco will shorten the length of time your teeth stay white. Using an electric toothbrush and whitening toothpaste can prolong the whitening effect.
Custom tray whitening is a great option for teeth whitening because the trays will last for many years, and you can purchase refill kits of whitening gel from your dentist, so the cost over time is minimal. This allows you to perform maintenance whitening as needed. For some patients, whitening maintenance should be performed every 2-3 months. For others, once a year is more than adequate to keep the teeth bright and white.
- Can I over-whiten my teeth? Contrary to what you may have seen on a popular episode of Friends, where Ross’s teeth glow in the dark, it is not likely that you could make your teeth too white. The results of whitening will usually plateau once the teeth reach their whitest shade. This shade is also different for each person depending on the structure of the teeth.
More questions about whitening your teeth with Opalescence® gel?
Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. McConnell or Dr. Nguyen. She will consider your specific whitening goals and make a recommendation of how to get the best, most predictable results.